The US Consul-General, Jeffery Hawkins, on Wednesday said that the American government was determined to make visa application process easier for Nigerians.

Hawkins said this in a paper he presented at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Lagos, on US and Nigeria bilateral relationships.

He said that the move was part of the government’s effort at promoting people-to-people relationships between Nigeria and the U.S.

He said that the consulate had recruited additional staff and installed new equipment in order to facilitate visa processing for Nigerians.

"My goal is to make visa application process painless and pleasant for Nigerians.

"I am happy to say that the wait time for Non-Immigrant Visa appointment is now just a fraction of what it once was.

"We can always improve more; but I am proud of the work we have done to serve our Nigeria visa applicants," he said.

The envoy also restated the commitment of the U.S. to creating opportunities for young Nigerians to visit the US.

Hawkins said that the government had concluded an arrangement to invite "very special set of Nigerian guests" to the US in 2014.

The Consul-General said that the U.S. Government would continue to sustain its bilateral relations with Nigeria in the years ahead.

Hawkins said that a US delegation, led by Under-Secretary of State for Political Affairs, Amb. Wendy Sherma, would be in Abuja on 15 August, for the US and Nigeria Binational Commission.

He said the visit would afford the delegation, Nigeria government representatives and the civil society, to deliberate on security issues, as well as other critical aspects of US and Nigeria’s bilateral relations.